Alpine glacier resilience and Neoglacial fluctuations linked to Holocene snowfall trends in the western United States

D.J. Larsen, S.E. Crump, A. Blumm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Geological evidence indicates that glaciers in the western United States fluctuated in response to Holocene changes in temperature and precipitation. However, because moraine chronologies are characteristically discontinuous, Holocene glacier fluctuations and their climatic drivers remain ambiguous, and future glacier changes are uncertain. Here, we construct a continuous 10-thousand-year (ka) record of glacier activity in the Teton Range, Wyoming, using glacial and environmental indicators in alpine lake sediments. We show that Teton glaciers persisted in some form through early Holocene warmth, likely as small debris-covered glaciers or rock glaciers. Subsequent Neoglacial ice expansion began ~6.3 ka, with two prominent glacier maxima at ~2.8 and 0.1 ka that were separated by a multicentennial phase of ice retreat. Comparison with regional paleoclimate records suggests that glacier activity was dominantly controlled by winter precipitation variability superposed on longterm Holocene temperature trends, offering key insights into western U.S. glacier resilience and vulnerability to future warming. © 2020 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages7
JournalScience Advances
Volume6
Issue number47
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 18 2020

Bibliographical note

Export Date: 22 December 2020

Continental Scientific Drilling Facility tags

  • TETON

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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